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THE ADVENTURES OF THE SECOND MRS. WATSON, A COLLECTION OF AMELIA WATSON SHORT MYSTERIES


By Michael Mallory

Deadly Alibi Press, Ltd., 2000, $15.99 (Paperback), 162 pages
ISBN - 1-886199-06-X (TP)
www.deadlyalibipress.com

Reviewed by Christine I. Speakman

Do yourself a great favour and read each of these twelve short stories slowly, then put the book down and walk away; this is a book to be savoured.

Maybe it's the time period of the Holmes' mysteries or just the character of Sherlock, but I've never found him very female friendly and his attitude towards Dr. Watson and others has made me want to scream. However, Amelia Watson, with her style and grace, is his soothing opposite. Though Sherlock appears in most of the stories, Amelia is the central character and does not take a back seat to the more known and famous character; Sherlock Holmes has met his match. Their introduction in "The Adventure of the Left-Behind Wife" had me laughing out loud. Poor Dr. Watson, he hasn't a clue what he's done by bringing Amelia into his and Holmes' life.

If you are lucky some stories, short or novel length, come vibrantly alive as you read them. You lose yourself in the story and insist that everyone you know read them. This collection falls into that class. The success of "THE ADVENTURES OF THE SECOND MRS. WATSON is partly due to Mr. Mallory's sense of the time period and the characters of Holmes and Watson. I felt I was reading something written when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was alive. Mr. Mallory has captured the time period and characters beautifully. Mr. Mallory's blending of Amelia to their mix is not only believable but also a welcomed addition.

Then there are the stories themselves. Each has its own personality, some humorous; some offering new information relating to the characters' past; and others are so simple in their mystery that the solution is obvious, after you read them. No solution is plucked from thin air, all are quite logical and the information readily available so that the reader should be able to reach the same conclusion. However, I am one who was dumbfounded every time; but that's half the fun of a Sherlockian mystery.

I insist that you not miss a single story in this collection; however, if you believe you only have time to read one or two (you won't be able to stop there), "The Adventure of Ripper's Scrawl" is absolutely brilliant. "The Adventure of the Retiring Detective" has sent me searching for a related Conan Doyle story; this story must be related to an original Holmes story. "The Adventure of the Three Verners" is very interesting. And "The Adventure of the Illustrious Patient" will have you applauding Amelia Watson.

I just have one question…when's the next Adventure of the Second Mrs. Watson?

Along with reviewing, Chris writes the Futures' column…The Connection. Feel free to contact her at speakpc@mountaincable.net

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